Characterizing tumor microenvironment biomarkers

Investigating impact on cancer progression

The discovery and development of effective cancer immunotherapy requires a better understanding of the tumor and its surrounding environment. Different stages of cancer progression depend on the tumor, the organ in which it resides, and the immune response. The innate and adaptive immune response and the associated cellular molecular factors influence tumorigenesis and the biochemical makeup of the tumor microenvironment. Profiling genotypic to phenotypic markers is useful for predicting drug response or elucidating the mechanisms of resistance to therapy. To help researchers investigate the relationship between the cellular and extra-cellular features of a tumor and the immune response Thermo Fisher Scientific offers a broad portfolio of solutions.

Characterizing cytokine profiles within the tumor microenvironment

Cytokines are low–molecular weight proteins that mediate communication between cells in the tumor microenvironment. Immune cells (e.g., macrophages and lymphocytes) and stromal cells (e.g., fibroblasts and endothelial cells) release cytokines to affect cell differentiation, growth, survival, migration, and immune cell activation. Cytokines may have a wide impact on cancer cells ranging from being anti-tumorigenic to influencing various stages of tumorigenesis. Early responses of inflammation as well as later changes such as cellular transformation and malignancy are a result of balancing pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, cytokine receptor expression patterns, and the cellular make-up of the tumor microenvironment. Table 1 below highlights key features of cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors commonly associated with propagation of tumor-associated inflammation.

Table 1. Selected proteins associated with leukocytes of the tumor microenvironment.

Source Protein Antibody
Cat. No.
Cat. No.
ProQuantum Kit Cat. No. Functions linking inflammation to cancer
TAM TGF-β1 MA1-116 BMS249-4   Promotes tumor growth in later stages of carcinogenesis by creating an immunotolerant environment
MDSC, TAM IL-6 700480 KAC1261 A35573 Promotes tumor growth
MDSC, TAM IL-8 710256 KAC1301 A35575 Enhances proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis
MDSC, TAM, Tregs IL-10 710170 KAC1321   Anti-inflammatory; downregulates expression of Th1 cytokines and costimulatory molecules on macrophages
Th17 cells IL-17 MA1069 EHIL17B   Associated with angiogenesis and poor prognosis
Th17 cells IL-21 710141 BMS2043   Associated with tumor development
Th17 cells IL-22 701031 BMS2047   Promotes differentiation of Th17 cells
Macrophages, monocytes, neutrophils, T cells, NK cells TNF-α 710288 KHC3011 A35601 Induces DNA damage and inhibit DNA repair; promotes tumor growth; induces angiogenic factors
Macrophages, T cells, mast cells, NK cells, endothelial cells, and fibroblasts GM-CSF 701136 KHC2011 A428915 Stimulates development of granulocytes, macrophages, early megakaryocytes and eosinophil progenitor cells
Endothelial cells, fibroblasts M-CSF PA1-20182 EHCSF1   Controls production, differentiation, and function
We offer additional immuno-oncology–related antibodies, ELISA kits, and ProQuantum kits.

Abbreviations: GM-CSF - Granuloctye-macrophage colony-stimulating factor); IL - Interleukin, M-CSF - Macrophage colony-stimulating factor; MDSC - Myeloid-derived suppressor cells; TAM - Tumor associated macrophages; TGF - Transforming growth factor.

Molecular profiling of co-inhibitory and co-stimulatory transcripts in tumors

In addition to co-inhibitory and co-stimulatory checkpoint molecules and cytokine and chemokines that can identify cell-type specific markers, RNA analysis can help to understand their related upstream transcriptional processes and pathways. The ability to perform high-content gene expression profiling allows for the simultaneous analysis of multiple pathways in addition to monitoring immune activation. The QuantiGene Plex assay enables direct quantification of mRNA and lncRNA targets directly from any sample including fresh, frozen or FFPE tissue and whole blood.

QuantiGene Plex T cell Activation and Inflammation Monitoring Panel

Below is a customizable QuantiGene panel for 80 human (assay ID: M19082703) or mouse (assay ID: M19082702) targets, that can be analyzed on a Luminex instrument (this panel is based on the work published by Holmgaard et al.). Fill out a quote request form to assemble the QuantiGene Plex T cell Activation and Inflammation Monitoring Panel, and we will contact you shortly. Or email your request to our probe design team at

  • ARG1
  • C10orf54
  • CCL2
  • CCL3
  • CCL4
  • CCL5
  • CD14
  • CD200R1
  • CD274
  • CD3E
  • CD4
  • CD40LG
  • CD68
  • CD69
  • CD86
  • CD8B1
  • CDH1
  • CDH5
  • CSF2
  • CSPG4
  • CXCL1
  • FAP
  • FOXP3
  • GUSB
  • GZMB
  • HAVCR2
  • HIF1A
  • HPRT
  • ICAM1
  • ICOS
  • IDO1
  • IFNA2
  • IFNB1
  • IFNG
  • IL10
  • IL13
  • IL17A
  • IL2
  • IL4
  • IL5
  • IL6
  • IL9
  • KLRK1
  • LAG3
  • MPO
  • MS4A1
  • NOS2
  • PDCD1
  • PDCD1LG2
  • PPIB
  • PVR
  • PVRL2
  • RPS18
  • SELE
  • SMAD4
  • SNAI1
  • TDO2
  • TGFB1
  • TGFB2
  • TGFB3
  • TGFBR1
  • TGFBR2
  • TIMD4
  • TNF
  • TNFRSF18
  • TNFSF18
  • TNFSF4
  • TNFSF9
  • TWIST1
  • VCAM1
  • VIM

Protein and cell analysis products for immuno-oncology research